Standing Committee on Economic Affairs Division Meets
Wednesday, 8th March, 2023
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SECRETARIAT
Islamabad, 8th March, 2023; 9th meeting of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs Division was held today under the Chairmanship of Mian Najeeb ud Din Awaisi, MNA, in Committee Room of Economic Affairs Division (EAD), C Block, Pak Secretariat, Islamabad.
The meeting commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by briefings and thorough discussions upon the critical matters relating to the Jamshoro Power Generation Project, the Right Bank Outfall Drain II project and the issues pertaining to the Three Years’ Agreement with Saudi Arabia for the purchase of oil.
The Committee discussed the challenges pertaining to the completion of Lot II of the Jamshoro Power Generation Project, especially with regards to the re-appropriation of the loans to finance the project. It was mentioned that due to the rejection of the project by the Integrated Generation Capacity Enhancement (IGCEP) earlier, due to which, the funds from the Islamic Development Bank as well as OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) had been re-appropriated towards the constructed of the Mohmand Dam. The representative explained further that in 2018, the IGCEP system marked the project approved based on its feasibility by 2027, thus, funds are now required to finance Lot II.
The Committee also questioned the representatives from the Ministry upon the prospects of feasibility of coal extraction and usage from the Lakhrah coal field.
The Committee was briefed upon the progress in the Right Bank Outfall Drain II (RBOD II) project. The Committee demanded clarity upon the purpose of the project, which the representative from the Irrigation Department of the Government of Sindh defined as drainage of irrigation water, with the capacity of the system standing at 3500 cusecs. The Committee also desired update upon the trail case for mis-appropriation of funds designated for the RBOD II project, which is on-going in the National Accountability Bureau.
The Committee was briefed upon the issues pertaining to the Three Years’ Agreement with Saudi Arabia for the purchase of oil. The representative from the Ministry of Energy, Power Division informed the Committee that Pak-Arab Refinery Limited and the National Refinery Limited refine the crude oil purchased from Aramco and that this agreement allows for deferred payments against crude oil purchases. The Committee questioned the Ministry on whether an agreement was possible when the oil prices went negative during COVID times, to which the Ministry responded that such an agreement was not possible due to storage costs and the uncertainty associated with COVID. The Committee also discussed the prospects of oil trade between Pakistan and Russia and upon the possibility of oil imports from Iraq in return of wheat and rice.
Honorable Members Syed Javed Hasnain, Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Mr. Khursheed Ahmed Junejo, Prof. Dr. Shahnaz Baloch and Mr. Salahuddin, MNAs attended the meeting.